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Manchester United's Bailly warns against underrating Benfica

31 October 2017

Jose Mourinho says he still has "no idea" when Paul Pogba will be back in the Manchester United team, having now been out for over six weeks with a hamstring injury.

'There's not one that hit the post or is saved by the opposition goalkeeper that can make Romelu's contribution below top level. The centre-forward created Anthony Martial's 81st-minute victor and Mourinho also pointed to how the Belgian was hard for Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen to deal with.

The 54-year-old told reporters: "My job is to protect my players and Romelu is one of the players who should be untouchable in terms of respect from everyone".

"I think, like many people, that Romelu is a great forward".

Regarding the negative reaction to his substitution from some supporters, Mourinho said: "They pay (for) the ticket, they can do what they want".

"We played well. To play well against a very good team feels even better". So for me [he is] untouchable in my team and I think he should be untouchable in support from the fans.

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Crooks added: 'With Romelu Lukaku slightly off the pace and Rashford with a mandate to score within 70 minutes or he's off, it was left to Valencia to marshal his defence well enough not to give Tottenham a sniff of their goal and that's precisely what he did'.

"But fans are fans, they pay the ticket and do what they want". As a manager I feel duty to protect my players when I feel they deserve it.

Now five points adrift of leaders Manchester City, United face Chelsea away next weekend in another high-profile encounter. "Ask [Toby] Alderweireld and [Jan] Vertonghen and [Eric] Dier if he was quiet".

Victory over Benfica could secure United's place in the knockout phase of the Champions League and Mourinho believes his team are growing stronger in Europe.

The Red Devils' Premier League matchup with Chelsea this Sunday was subsequently earmarked by media sources as a possible return date for Pogba, but manager Jose Mourinho has since revealed that no timetable has yet been set for his reintroduction at Old Trafford.

Manchester United's Bailly warns against underrating Benfica